Sunday, October 22, 2006
Hey, that isn't a cheese knife!
It blows my mind when you have a preconceived notion about a location you’re traveling to and then it ends up just blowing you away (for the better). Spending a few days in Milwaukee didn’t seem like much to me to begin with: Just getting there from San Antonio is about as easy as putting your elbow into your ass. While somewhat kinky sounding, I had visions of ice-cold nights, Bates-like motels and the lack of running water (okay, maybe not that extreme, but the thought of ‘cheese-scented air’ did cross my mind a few times). Luckily for me, I was proved wrong and enjoyed my time in a city that up until then served as nothing but a backdrop for Laverne & Shirley.
Someone pass me a Schlitz! I’m ready to move.
The city is brimming with a diverse culture (great Thai food). Gentrification has hit most of the downtown area, which is now being redone with modern loft spaces, all while keeping what made the old Milwaukee so charming. It’s a clean, outdoorsy city. In some ways it’s quite reminiscent of Boston: Urbane city combining perfectly with brief spans of lush green grass. Lots of parks and recreation, all making it very clear that this is a town who takes fitness seriously.
Heading into the local mall, I was a little surprised to see H&M there. Like some sick joke, they didn’t end up having a men’s department. So very wrong.
The quick visit didn’t leave me much time to explore the artsy side of the city, but I did take about 20 minutes to pop into their art museum, designed in part by Santiago Calatrava. It’s tough to describe the structure other than saying it’s winged and hinged quite a bit like a bird. It’s a fully-functional design, opening and closing throughout the day. A permanent Dale Chihuly glass tower hangs in the lobby (closely reminiscent of the one at the Indy Children’s Museum).
While jaw-dropping to stand in-front and inside of, the building has a basic monochromatic color-scheme, I can only describe it as utopian in feel. Almost a creation of the 1950's: What designers then thought the ‘future’ would look like. EPCOT-like. Very interesting.
Then headed out to New York City for a week, blasting back into a reality check and quickly realizing that I’d left the Midwest mentality far behind. It wasn’t a bad thing, but it’s semi-comical when you go from a helping hand to a singular finger in the span of 12 hours.
Spice Market in the meatpacking district can SUCK MY ASS. I’m tired of going to the trouble of making reservations for a meal, getting there on time and then being told to wait 30 minutes for a table. If Jean-Georges can’t get his shit together and micro-manage a reservations list versus his walk-in business, then maybe he needs to go back to Hamburger University. I ended up walking out about 5 minutes later and catching a great meal at Totonnos. I can also attest that The Spotted Pig (co-owned by Bono of U2 fame) is also great comfort food.
Braved the Times Square crowd and saw a couple shows on the boards: Martin Short’s Fame Becomes Me and the revival of A Chorus Line.
Martin Short is shameless in his attempt to entertain. I say this as a good thing, as his show in whole comes across wonderfully asinine and tongue-in-cheek throughout. It lovingly rips off just about every cliche in the musical theatre, while providing belly laughs for those in and out of the lexicon.
Short works hard. He zips through most of his more famous personalities and takes on some new ones too, all in the span of about 90 minutes (no intermission). Most nights you can all-but-guarantee that a celebrity will be in attendance, which makes for his ‘Jiminy Glick’ interview portion all that more interesting. The night I went, they pulled Jimmy Buffett. Not the funniest guy (and probably two-sheets-to-the-wind) in the world and he ended up bombing in severe flames when he tried to ‘out-funny’ Short. Didn’t work. Sit back down Jimmy... Just sit down. I was hoping for Lorne Michaels, who was also there that night, to get up there considering his history with Short, but alas it didn’t happen.
A Chorus Line veered not a shred away from it’s original Bennett creation of the ‘70s. A true revival in the ultimate sense of the word, this show was simple, heartfelt, well-danced and had the audience behind it from the opening chord. I had never seen that kind of response from a Broadway crowd: It ended up sounding more akin to a Rolling Stones concert than a night at the theatre. It looked as if most in the theatre that night had either experienced the original production or had simply latched onto the show at some point.
The show was still in previews at this point, which led to a few of the actors to be a little non-committal to their script. Charlotte D’Ambrose is incredible as Cassie. She’s spent a good chunk of her Broadway career as a star-replacement (Chicago, Sweet Charity, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast) and it’s great to see her open this show, cast in a part she’s pitch-perfect for. She dances beautifully. Impressive stuff.
Guys in the cast are easy on the eyes (come on, they’re Broadway dancers) and it seems to me that Tony Yazbeck has the best set of arms on a New York stage thanks to him wearing a very tight and revealing sleeveless shirt during the show.
Deidre Goodwin can do no wrong as Sheila. Her performance is filled with small nuances that make her impossible not to watch.
Like the original, simple set, lighting and costumes. This isn’t Disnified theatre. Come with an open mind and you’ll find more than enough entertainment there.
London’s TopShop, a better-than-average alternative to discounter H&M, is opening doors in SoHo this spring. They carry lines designed by celebs, models and up-and-coming designers, all at super cheap prices. Look for powder keg Kate Moss to model in their initial US-based advertisements, as well as designing her own line with the store.
It’s official: LUSH has worn out its welcome and say hello to Malin & Goetz. A small, simple and organic-based skin care system, M&G seems to be what Kiehls was before they sold their soul to Estee Lauder (aka, The Devil).
My favorite products include their peppermint body scrub, amino acid facial cleanser and B5 body lotion. All good stuff, simple to use and without much fuss. Great for a guy on the go.
Two things definitely worth mentioning on this edition: I snagged a ‘Best Website’ award recently from the fine folks at the Rentboy Awards and also a main-page mention on the very popular sex blog Fleshbot. Big thanks to Rentboy (and voters) out there for the recognition of 15 Minutes, as well as the InfoGroup, BN and MySpace pages. I’d also like to throw kudos out there for my fellow nominees and winners. I was unable to attend the awards show in NYC, but heard nothing but salacious stories from those who went. Sounded like a great success.
Fleshbot, a part of the Gawker blog network, also recently gave some BN-love with a story on this blog and my various online doings. A big welcome to all of those Fleshbot readers out there and thanks again guys for the plug. Mucho appreciated.
The Great Dane next door.
Cooke City, Montana.
A prune Danish.
The Bugs Bunny cartoon that goes, "Cook! Where's my hasenpfeffer?"
This is just a partial list of things that are funnier than Dane Cook, but let's stop here... or we could go on all day, like one of Dane's monologues.
Yeah, we get it: the world's hottest comedian, a success story, the MySpace generation, blah to the blah, but where are the fucking jokes? Dane, did you bring any jokes at all? Or did you just figure you'd think of some after you got famous? His success is his whole story, with his hit album Retaliation, his HBO special Vicious Circle (which btw got the LOWEST ratings of any special in the history of HBO), his Jessica Simpson comedy Employee of the Month. But when does the funny start? How can any comedian get this famous with no jokes? It's like he's a lovable character Will Ferrell made up for an upcoming media-prank comedy, Funnyguy: The Legend of Dane Cook.
Hey Dane: International Male called... They need their style back.
Tune in to Dane, and you'll hear old "ya ever notice?" gags you thought would never walk again. You will learn about airports, driving, the ways women are different from men (they cry!), and how people call you "pal" when they're not your pal. "Why are we still requesting people say 'cheese'?" Dane asks. "Was there a time in history when like, photography and cheese were like, the shit?" The best line on Retaliation goes, "He was hit by a Dodge, which I found funny and ironic." I can't wait to figure out which old Emo Philips record that one comes from.
Other comics resent him, not so much for success as for biting routines from Louis C.K. and still not being funny. Dane could be reading aloud from Dave Berg's "The Lighter Side of" in Mad magazine, or he could be Animal House if you thought Neidermeyer was the funny one, but it doesn't matter. Either way, he's huge. Go to his Web site, where he earned his rep as a marketing whiz, and you notice there's no comedy, just essays about how hard he's worked.
"Great news!!!" he writes. "We already made back our entire budget and now the movie is making a profit. This is great for me and my cast. It has sent a message that I can open a film up against huge competition." Dane, did you wonder if we noticed Employee of the Month was the assest movie Andy Dick's ever been in, and that includes The Hebrew Hammer? We did! In his Danecasts, he doesn't crack jokes; he listens to Coldplay, replies to his New Friend Requests and urges us to go see Employee of the Month. "Thank you for wanting to check in with me," he muses. "Five million people downloading the Danecast, and let me tell you, it's just gonna get better." You're welcome!
So -- heard any good jokes lately?
Mariah Carey’s pissing off the wrong people this time... Her fans! Looks like her Diva behavior is beginning to sour her success on her current concert tour, with Mariah turning up over 2 hours late to a recent show in Anaheim. This behavior, coming from a woman with a tour rider longer than her own stretch marks, is unacceptable. Her past diva-diversions have included sleeping with 25 humidifiers in her hotel room, as well as making her massage therapist stay bedside while she sleeps.
Magician and A&E staple Chriss Angel, knockoff-extraordinare to David Blaine, has parted ways with former flame Minnie Driver in hopes of snagging a piece of Paris. Hilton, that is. Wouldn’t just buying her night-vision laden porno tape be cheaper and so much easier to deal with? Added, you wouldn’t have to have Nicole Ritchie trailing around with you, frightening small children into thinking that Karen Carpenter is still alive (‘I wonder how many calories are in this Equal packet?’)
I’ve seen pieces of the Dustin Diamond sex tape and the rumors are true: he’s hung like a stallion, but that doesn’t quite make up for the fact that he could seriously use an extreme make over. Luckily for Screech, he’s already got the prodigal ‘porn star’ name. Are we looking at the new Ron Jeremy here? How did this once-cute child star end up barebacking what appears to be a crack-whore? Furthermore, why couldn’t Mario Lopez have beaten Diamond to the punch?
What middle-American rentboy was recently caught flapping his gums about buying his low-cost Columbian specialty directly from his clientele? It looks as if this guy might be silenced for awhile considering his supplier is from a well-known political circle and he’s got a penchant for handling things ‘his way.’ Whether this kid ends up surfacing online or in a river remains to be seen.
What WWE wrestler was found hogtied with a dildo in his ass on a recent tour stop in the Southern states? Seems this John couldn’t quite get enough of the fantasy and ended up getting snookered by his hired help. When found by WWE road manager, both his wallet and self-respect were completely gone.
For more on gay WWE stars, check out the latest drama courtesy of Just Us Boys.
Got a sweet tooth? I was sent these on-set workout pics of Jake Gyllenhaal during the fleshfest filming better known as 'Jarhead.' Enjoy:
Blink and it might be gone... This week’s EYE CANDY is some of my best:
Tune in next week for the real deal on MGM’s SkyLofts in Vegas, as well as LOVE at the Mirage, playtime at The Peppermill, Phantom at The Venetian, my time with Kinky, the 2007 Infiniti G35, shopping for home theatre equpiment in Memphis and a true gloves-off version of what it’s really like to be a male escort.
You’re not going to want to miss it...
‘Only two guys wear hats indoors: Cowboys and Jews...’ ---- Kinky Friedman, Texas gubernatorial candidate